The Bowie State University (BSU) Bulldogs wasted no time breaking in their brand new home field Saturday as they edged Virginia Union University (VUU), 28-27, in their first home game since switching from grass to synthetic turf.

Bulldogs junior Clifton Budd set two school passing records as Bowie State advanced to a 2-3 overall record, 2-0 Central Interscholastic Athletic Association (CIAA) wise.

Budd completed 32 of 51 passes for 355 yards and three touchdowns. His 32 completions and 355 yards broke an 18-year-old BSU record set by Arthur Lee who held the mark at 24 completions and 324 passing yards.

The Bulldogs led, 15-13, at halftime, but struggled in the third quarter, allowing VUU to take a 27-15 lead late in the third quarter. But BSU managed a comeback with two touchdown strikes from Budd, an 18-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Reginald McIntyre and a 39-yard touchdown strike to senior Gregory Jackson.

The score was a lot closer than the game’s stat line would suggest, as Bowie State gained 426 total yards on 88 plays, nearly double of what Virginia Union recorded. But BSU also committed 21 penalties for 192 yards, which allowed VUU to stay inn the game.

“It’s not supposed to be this hard,” BSU second-year head coach Damon Wilson said. “The guys showed a lot of perseverance and the young guys stepped up and made big plays …I give much of the credit to our offensive line.”

BSU junior receiver Douglass McNeil led all receivers with a game-high seven catches for 144 receiving yards including a 25-yard hook up with Budd for a touchdown. Junior receiver James Proctor, Jr. also contributed, catching six passes for 45 yards. 

While Budd did most of his damage through the air, he also led Bowie State in rushing with 54 yards on 11 carries.

The Bulldogs will take a break from CIAA competition next Saturday when they travel to Chowan University in North Carolina to take on the Hawks.